The Strata is, like many in the lineup of 361 Degrees, relatively new to the running market.
The second edition of the shoe, the 361 Degrees Strata 2, is the brand’s take on a traditional stability trainer, meant for runners looking for more support than a neutral cushioned shoe or for those who overpronate and need extra support through the medial (arch) area.
Let’s start with the basics.
Release date: Available now
Type: Moderate stability
Heel-to-toe drop: 26 mm to 18 mm (8 mm drop)
Weight: 11.2 oz (men) / 8.9 oz (women)
Price (MSRP): $189.99
Terrain tested: Roads, icy surfaces (no off-roading)
Kilometres tested: 70
Overall, the the Strata 2 offers a structured landing and general ride. The design structure is particularly beneficial if you find you land ‘loud’ on your feet.
Because the Strata 2 aims to control pronation levels, the cushioning generally feels firmer than traditional neutral shoes. The company uses what it calls Qu!ckfoam as its signature cushioning system, which in our experience, is likely going to last hundreds of kilometres. Although the shoe may not be the lightest in the moderate stability market, the Strata 2 still checks in below the 11.5 oz, and even lighter for women. CR found that the Strata 2 is a good option between workout days when it’s just about putting in the easy kilometres with minimal wear and tear on the legs. For workouts, you’re likely better off with a lighter shoe, though the Strata 2 is certainly an option for long runs. Note that there isn’t as much ‘pop’ as some of the ‘high-energy return’ shoes.
The shoe is geared towards moderate stability, ideal for runners who overpronate or need more structure than a bare-bones cushioned shoe. That said, it’s by no means clunky, in part because of the pods of cushioning (they look like small building blocks lined up together) through the mid to forefoot. Note that there is medial support to limit overpronation which adds a bit of stiffness to the overall feel of the shoe.
The traction on the shoe fared well in the Canadian winter. One concern is the deep heel area towards the back of the shoe, which may attract debris if you run off-roads. (We didn’t try the Strata 2 on anything besides urban conditions.)
The upper relies on a series of overlays, while impressively still being breathable and not overly warm in the winter months, when the bulk of the testing for this review was done, to keep the foot locked in place.
One minor feature we noticed was that the laces seem to be a tad too long which may require double- or triple-knotting to keep them from catching on the ground or flapping around. Generally, the shoe fits true to size though, if necessary, the Strata 2 comes in a wide version, at the same cost. The fact that a wide version exists is a solid addition to the 361 Degrees lineup as runners won’t find issues of the shoe fitting too snug or too loose through the midfoot and toebox.
The tongue of the shoe almost seems like its a transplant from another shoe. It stands out, in a good way, and offers a soft and natural feel (the tongue is relatively thin) across the laces. In the original Strata, the tongue was much thicker which may have been a nuisance for some runners who prefer more of a natural feel in the upper.
The Strata 2 has pretty much everything a traditional stability should have: it’s durable, reliable and all about control and cushioning, all of which 361 Degrees does well in its winter shoe launch.
Find the 361 Degrees Strata 2 at your local retailer or online.
The Strata 2 appears in Canadian Running’s 2018 Spring Shoe Guide.